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THE LUKE CHURCH GOES GLOBAL AS WE STAND AGAINST HIV/AIDS

Dr. Timothy W. Sloan in 2012 created headlines about an issue most churches refuse to discuss, HIV/AIDS, by not only leading an initiative but also getting a rapid HIV test in front of his congregation of 5000 members.  Today Dr. Timothy W. Sloan is still making efforts to bring awareness to this issue by forming a partnership with his church, St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church of Humble (aka The Luke) and with Believers World Outreach (BWO).  Through the efforts of this partnership they will be sending a team of six missionaries from their church (Jotina Buck, Ashley Buchanan, Amber Smith, Joy Lee, Debra Montgomery, and Selma Washington) to Cape Town, South Africa for two weeks this Summer (July 27 – August 10) to provide relief and support for one of the largest regions affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

In 2012, The Luke partnered with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in their first annual Day of Unity, an event designed to inspire pastors and churches to talk about HIV/AIDS as a social justice issue. The day highlighted the impact the Black Church can have in fighting HIV/AIDS.  Most recently, The Luke has launched two initiatives to continue in this effort:  1) The Luke Stands for HIV/AIDS Awareness designed to target this social issue through providing education, creating awareness, and promoting engagement such as HIV testing during church services and 2) Project A1:8 which is the church’s local and international outreach effort to spread the love of Christ throughout the world.

“The Black Church must lead the effort in addressing this epidemic affecting the African American community at a disproportionate rate. This is not just a programming issue; it’s a matter of courage and prophetic confrontation. We must begin to take real steps to change the path of this epidemic,” said Dr. Timothy W. Sloan.

On Sunday, July 20, 2014, The Luke Church located at 2380 S. Houston Avenue, Humble, TX 77396 will be dedicating their worship experience to show their appreciation and support for those missionaries who will be traveling to Cape Town, South Africa.  An estimated 5.6 million people are living with HIV and AIDS in The Republic of South Africa, which is the highest number in any country.  It is estimated about 23-25% of Oceanview Township population are infected with HIV and AIDS. The numbers only reflect reported cases.  Openly discussing HIV and AIDS status is still taboo. Hence, there are many undiagnosed and unreported cases. Therefore, The Luke is now focusing its efforts in Cape Town, South Africa where the missionaries will serve at the following locations:

•   Living Hope AIDS Hospice in OceanView Township which is a small village outside of Cape Town – there they will share with men, women, and children who are in the final stages of transitioning due to HIV/AIDS.

•   Desmond Tutu HIV Youth Foundation in Masiphumelele a small poor village outside of Cape Town – there they will serve with youth through sporting activities, educational AIDS awareness courses, and they’ll assist a street team with providing HIV rapid tests for the community.

This work is paramount as The Luke Stands Against HIV/AIDS.

“With this global experience in South Africa this is only the beginning as we expand our reach across the nation to spread the message of health awareness through relief and education,” says Jotina Buck who serves as team leader for this missionary team.

If you would like more information, or to schedule an interview with Dr. Timothy W. Sloan, please call Ramone Harper at 281.788.5269.

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